The Official Newsletter for the Media Ecology Association


November 2023

The Winter of Our Disconnect . . . 

This month's issue of the newsletter contains more information about the upcoming special issue of EME as well as notes from the 109th Annual Convention of the National Communication Association. We've also included information on a new book publication from Lance Strate and opportunities to volunteer as a reviewer for upcoming conferences and journal publications. 

In this issue . . . 

  • CfP: Explorations in Media Ecology Special Issue
  • CfP: 25th Annual Convention of the Media Ecology Association, June 6-8th, 2024, at Daemon University in Amherst, NY
  • New Book Publication: First Letter of My Alphabet by Dr. Lance Strate
  • MEA @ NCA: Notes from the National Convention
  • Call for Reviewers for MEA @ NCA 2024 
  • How to follow MEA on Social Media
  • Contribute Content to In Media Res!

 Explorations in Media Ecology

Editor-in-Chief: Peggy Cassidy

INVITED SPECIAL ISSUE in “Artificial Intelligence and Media Ecology”

Guest Editor:
Tiffany Petricini, Penn State Shenango

Call for Papers:

We welcome contributions for an Invited Special Issue on “Artificial Intelligence and Media Ecology” to be published in Explorations in Media Ecology

This special issue aims for paper submissions that discuss connections between media ecology and artificial intelligence. Coined by Mollick (2023), this new “AI Tide” is ripe for exploration in field of media ecology. AI has become a transformative force shaping the very fabric of our media landscape. As media technologies evolve, AI’s pervasive influence impacts content creation, distribution, consumption patterns, and the overall media ecosystem. Understanding the interplay between AI and media is crucial to grasp the implications for communication, culture, and society.

Walter Ong argued that artificial intelligence could never approach human intelligence, as intelligence is embedded in culture, persons, their bodies, and even silence. He wrote, “Despite all the work to achieve ‘artificial intelligence’ through the computer, the computer always lacks the living silence in which, as we have seen, human thought and language are embedded, it lacks the unconscious in which human thought and language are also embedded, and it lacks the biological substructures in which human thought and language are embedded” (Ong, 2018).

All disciplines have been impacted by the recent generative AIs that have entered the public sphere. Conferences throughout 2023 have seen discussions about AI, even our own at Fordham in June. Media ecologists have many valuable perspectives to contribute to this global conversation, and this special issue is welcoming media ecologists a space to explore AI.

Possible topics welcomed in this special issue include, but are not limited to:

  • AI and higher education
  • AI and culture
  • AI and language
  • Implications of media ecology on the development of AI
  • Media ecology and the global village
  • The digital divide and AI
  • Human consciousness and AI
  • Language and AI

Abstracts (300 words) and a short biographical note should be submitted by December 11, 2023 via email to Tiffany Petricini with the subject line “AI and Media Ecology.”

About the journal Explorations in Media Ecology

Explorations in Media Ecology, the journal of the Media Ecology Association, accepts submissions that extend our understanding of media (defined in the broadest possible terms), that apply media ecological approaches, and/or that advance media ecology as a field of inquiry. As a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary publication, EME welcomes contributions embracing diverse theoretical, philosophical and methodological approaches to the study of media and processes of mediation.

Important Dates

  • Abstract submission (300 words): December 11, 2023
  • Manuscript submission: January 11, 2024
  • Notifications: February 15, 2023
  • Final manuscript submission: March 31, 2024
  • Target publication date: June, 2024

Paper Submission Format

Contributors are asked to submit original papers between 4000-6000 words in the journal’s requested manuscript format. You can find more information about formatting on the publisher webpage:

Special Issue Guest Editor

Tiffany Petricini is an Assistant Teaching Professor in Communication at Penn State Shenango and Program Coordinator of the Penn State Western Corporate Communication Consortium. Her publications have reflected interests in phenomenology, interpersonal communication, technology, philosophy, ethics, and media ecology, including her work Friendship and Technology, available through Routledge. Tiffany has been an invited speaker on the international radio program “Spark” on CBC Radio One and the first external speaker to ever be invited to the SUNY Plattsburgh at the Ethics Institute. She also serves as the social media expert for NBC affiliate WFMJ 21 News.

Call for Papers

The 25th Annual Media Ecology Association Convention

June 6–9, 2024
Daemen University, Amherst, NY

“Cultivating Community: A Celebration of MEA’s 25th Anniversary”

THE MEDIA ECOLOGY ASSOCIATION (MEA) invites the submission of abstracts of papers and proposals for panels for presentation at its 25th Annual Convention, which will be held from June 6–9, 2024 at Daemen University in Amherst, New York. The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2024.

In recognition of the Media Ecology’s 25th anniversary and convention setting, the theme of the 2024 conference is community. The conference will take place on the Daemen University campus in Amherst, NY. Amherst is consistently ranked as one of the safest cities in America due to a community focus and investment in outlets for cultivating “relationally modern” young adults who are able to withstand and navigate intricacies of contemporary life in a digital landscape (Singer, 2014). The Daemen campus is just minutes from Buffalo, colloquially referred to as The City of Good Neighbors — a moniker evidenced by citizen responses to public tragedy and remarkable weather events.

Media ecology has roots in, borrows from, and advances notions pertinent to the intersection of community, democracy, culture, and the nature of cities. Many principal figures in the tradition of media ecology scholarship have worked closely in these areas, from Mumford’s attention to life in urban environments, to Carey’s concerns about democratic participation, as well as Gumpert and Drucker’s many talks and publications dealing with the intersection of said themes.

The annual meeting of the MEA provides an opportunity for our community of scholars, educators, professionals, artists, and practitioners to exchange experiences and ideas in a friendly environment. Participants at MEA conventions address a wide diversity of topics in our program. We encourage submissions that explore media ecological approaches from any number of different disciplines and fields of knowledge and social practice. We are interested in papers, thematic panels, roundtable discussion panels, creative projects, performance sessions, and other proposals of interest to media ecologists.

While we are open to explorations on any topic of interest to media ecologists, we also include a convention theme with the aim of generating further discussion and probes involving multiple perspectives. Submissions do not have to address the theme, but are invited to do so.

Guidelines for Submission

Please submit paper and panel proposals, in English, by February 1, 2024 to MEA2024@daemen.eduA maximum of two submissions per author will be accepted. Authors who wish to be considered for the Top Paper or Top Student Paper award must indicate this on their submission(s).

Submission Guidelines for paper and panel proposals:

  1. Include title(s), abstract(s) (maximum 250 words), and contact information for each participant.
  2. Outline, as relevant, how your paper or panel will fit with the convention theme.
  3. Authors with papers submitted as part of a panel proposal or as a paper proposal who wish to be considered for Top Paper or Top Student Paper (see our Awards page for more details) must send the completed manuscript (see guidelines below) to the convention planners before the convention.

Submission guidelines for manuscripts for authors who wish to be considered for the Top Paper or Top Student Paper award:

  1. Manuscripts should be 4,000–6,000 words (approximately 15 to 25 double-spaced pages)
  2. Include a cover page with your institutional affiliation and other contact information.
  3. Include an abstract (maximum 150 words).

Please stay tuned for more information. Questions? Contact us.

NEW BOOK: First Letter of My Alphabet by Dr. Lance Strate

First Letter of My Alphabet by Lance Strate


First Letter of My Alphabet is a personal pentateuch, populated by a diverse cast of characters that include Adam and Eve, Moses, Saul, Qohelet, Joan of Arc, Marie Curie, Brigitte Bardot, Max Weinberg, an assortment of superheroes, the Tailors of Eternity, angels and avatars, and the Supreme Being in myriad manifestations. Flashes of humor mix with bittersweet memory, poignant longings for escape are juxtaposed with calls for resistance and transcendence, sound and vision, speech and inscription, language and symbol, history and memory, past and present, the particular and the universal, the intellectual and the ineffable, all come together in a volume that speaks to flesh and blood and mind and soul as one. First Letter of My Alphabet Lance Strate NeoPoiesis Press/September 14, 2023 5.5”x8.5” perfect bound, paper/ $16.96 USD/ 140pages ISBN: 979-8-9858336-4-5

Purchase a copy now!


“Lance Strate has reached poetic Nirvana in his new collection First Letter of My Alphabet. Strate covers big philosophic territory with simplicity and exquisite language. This is truly a collection showcasing the sparkle of words spread wide and deep.”
 - Doris White, Professor of Language, Literature, Culture, and Writing, William Paterson University

“This is an inspired, frightening hopeful book. Anchored in Hebraic tradition, some of Strate’s poems call to mind the apocalyptic Dylan of Hard Rain, the Coleman Barks version of Rumi, and The Book of Revelations. But there is levity too–wit, wisdom and the lightning connectivity of ‘wordplay’ to take us laterally into unexpected illuminations.”
 - Robert Priest, poet, playwright, and songwriter, author of Reading the Bible Backwards and If I Didn’t Love the River

“This personal collection of mnemonics moves me beyond measure. It is a playful masterpiece of persistence and patience. Lance Strate is simply the best poet I know.”
 - Michelle Shocked, singer-songwriter

For more information about First Letter of My Alphabet, please visit or contact Dale Winslow at 

Contact: Dale Winslow, NeoPoiesis Press
Phone: (250) 812-1031

MEA @ NCA 2023

Notes from the National Convention

Austin Hestdalen, NCA Liaison & MEA Division Planner

The Media Ecology Association sponsored a mixture of four paper and panel sessions during the 109th Annual Convention of the National Communication Association. The convention took place from November 16th – 19th, in National Harbor, Maryland, and included scholarship relating media ecology to the overall convention theme of freedom.

While the convention has already passed, please contact the division planner, Austin Hestdalen via email for any questions, to get in touch with the authors, or to request further information about papers presented during the sessions.


Choosing Reproductions of the Real: Lewis Mumford for Technology Today

Margaret Mullen, East Stroudsberg University

From Church to Tribe: Why Its Important to Speak Freely about McLuhan

Marcel O’Gorman, University of Waterloo Canada

Media Theory: The Turn from Humanism to Anti-humanism

Peter Zhang, Grand Valley State University

Personal Freedoms and its Perilous Mediations in Bernard Charbonneau’s Critique of Mass Society

Christian Roy, Independent Scholar

That’s so Meta! The media Logic of Metatextuality in Contemporary Popular Culture

Charles E. Soukup, University of Northern Colorado

Christina R. Foust, Metropolitan State University 



Not Just Monkeying Around: Play, Proliferation, and Meme Coin Speculation

Maximilian Brichta, University of Southern California

Cyberspace, the “Discarnate Being,” and the Unchaining of the Will

Mariana Rose Orth, Duquesne University

Power in the Flow: Binge-watching and Interpretive Offloading in the Age of Information

Sascha Nemself Villagran, University of Pittsburgh


The Freedom from Social Media?: Media Ecological Perspectives on Memory, Cities, Friendships, and Security

Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Relationships or Augmented Intelligence Augmented Relationships?: The Case for Correcting the Artificial Misnomer

Tiffany A. Petricini, Penn State University, Shenango

Disinformation and Cybersecurity: Social Media and the Appearance of Safety

Matthew P. Mancino, Indiana University South Bend

Objectifying Spaces of Abjection: Social Media Ecology, Ruin Porn, and Gary, IN

Austin Hestdalen, Purdue University Northwest

“Freeing” Your Mind: Online Permanence and Human Memory

Kati Sudnick, University of North Carolina, Wilmington

Platonic Psychology and Media Ecology: How to Act Freely in a Technological World

Co-Sponsored with the Communication Ethics division

Of Plato and Popes: Platonic Psychology, Free Will, and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications

John Joseph Jasso, Ave Maria University

Stochastic Chariots: Platonic Rhetoric and the Eloquence of LLMs

Doug Kulchar, Pennsylvania State University

The Freedom of Erotic Rhetoric: Plato on the Arts of Love and Logos

Andrew Beer, Christendom College

Call for Reviewers

MEA @ NCA 2024

"Communication for Greater Regard"

The MEA program planners are actively searching for volunteers to review submissions for the Media Ecology Division at the 110th Annual Convention of the National Communication Association in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. 

Reviewing submissions is more than academic service. It gives us as members of the MEA a chance to uplift scholarly works that speak to the intellectual tradition of our field and extend that tradition into new realms of conversation. 

For more information or to volunteer to be a reviewer please contact the NCA Liaison and MEA Division Planner, Austin Hestdalen via email ( and add your name to our reviewer list for NCA. 

Stay in Touch w/ the MEA via on Social Media and Email!

Historically, the MEA’s email discussion list has provided online conversation for members and friends of the Media Ecology Association. Subscribers use the list to share views, exchange information, and learn about interesting events related to media ecology. And don't forget to follow MEA on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter)

Subscribe Today!

Are you interested in media ecology and have some questions about it? Are you working on a study related to media ecology and searching for advice? Are you an instructor looking for a media ecology expert to invite as a virtual guest speaker to one of your classes?

Get in touch with us! We are happy to schedule a “virtual coffee” appointment with you. Simply fill out the form below to set up a short call or virtual meeting with a scholar from the MEA.

The format is open to all. We especially encourage students and early-career scholars interested in media ecology to get in touch with us.

Do you have a background in media ecology and would like to volunteer for virtual coffee meetings with those looking to learn more about it? Send an email to Julia M. Hildebrand.

Arrange a Virtual Coffee appointment on our website. 

Book Reviewers Wanted!

Have you read a good book with connections to Media Ecology?  Please consider submitting a review for publication in Explorations in Media Ecology.  Are you reading a new book for use in an upcoming class?  Please consider submitting a review and helping out other scholars looking for new texts.  Do you just like writing book reviews? Consider writing one for EME!!  :)  Contact for more information and to get a format template.  Reviews should be between 1000 and 2000 words.

Back Issues of EME

Pedagogy Sections Include Online Teaching

Access all back issues of Explorations in Media Ecology in the Members Area on the MEA website. These back issues include pedagogy sections that contain information about teaching, including teaching online.

MEA Membership Renewal Reminder

It is not too late to renew your membership by paying your dues.  Please log into the website at, and then log in using your email ID and password and follow the directions. You may pay online via PayPal or pay by check made payable to the Media Ecology Association and mailed to our treasurer, Paul Soukup, S.J., at the Communication Department; Santa Clara University; 500 El Camino Real; Santa Clara, CA  95053 USA. For those outside the U.S., you may also pay by Western Union money order sent to  If you wish to change your membership, please drop Paul Soukup a note. 

*Please note: The Media Ecology Association Executive Board decided that the newsletter will be available online to all interested readers. However, only members can be featured in the newsletter itself. If you are a MEA member, please fill out this form (include a call to submit material+ link). 

Message from the Editor: A Year in Rear-View

Austin Hestdalen, Duquesne University

I invite members to submit content in any of the below areas of interest listed for publication in our monthly newsletter. 

  • Media Ecology - Booknotes: A segment originally appearing in the first few issues of In Media ResBooknotes offers membership the opportunity to contribute short reviews of books that are either directly or tangentially related to the study of media ecology and offer the potential for reconsidering important aspects of media ecological study.
  • Media Ecology - Scholarship In Brief: The scholarship in brief segment appeared in the earliest issues of the newsletter and offered frameworks for revisiting what might be described as the foundational texts of media ecology. This segment offers membership the opportunity to discuss both old and new interpretations of 'canonical' works in media ecology. 
  • Media Ecology at Work: An older segment in which members have the chance to parse the professional and practical implications of media ecology in their daily lives. Contributions take an almost essayistic format in which membership contemplate how media ecology might inform everyday activities of work, play, and anything in between. 
  • Media Ecology and the Arts: This segment focuses on ever-emerging considerations of media in music, and the visual, literary, performance, and plastic arts. Contributions contemplate media and the artistic counter-environments that allow us to negotiate media constraints.
  • Cornering Media Ecology: A new segment that invites media ecologists to offer critical understandings of media and the competing ecologies they generate in human communication. Contributions can include anything from critical reinterpretations of media ecological texts to those that parse the implications of the media ecological approach in a variety of contexts. 
  • General Letters to the Editor: This segment invites membership to share thoughts both on the newsletter and the MEA as whole and is open to any form discussion and critique. Contributions are encouraged to offer insights into how the newsletter and association might extend the study of media ecology in ways that reflect the interests of the membership. 

Contributions to any of the above segments should be submitted to the newsletter editor, Austin Hestdalen (

Please be sure to include the name of segment for which you are submitting in the subject line.

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